SRI SHAILESH KUMAR V v/s STATE OF KARNATAKA
DATE OF ORDER:
17th January 2023
HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE PARTHA SARTHY
Petitioner: SRI SHAILESH KUMAR V. S/O VENKATESH L.
Respondent: STATE OF KARNATAKA, BY SURYANGAR POLICE STATION, ANEKAL, REPRESENTED BY SPP.
SMT.JAYAMMA, W/O KENCHAPPA
The Hon’ble Karnataka High Court (hereinafter referred to as ‘High Court’ or ‘the Court’), has given the order it is up to the petitioner to be found not guilty of the IPC offences. There can be no intervention as far as offences under the IPC are involved given how serious the offences are.
Criminal Procedure Code 1973
- Section 482 – the Supreme Court has ruled that when it is discovered that an attempt was made to "cloak an otherwise civil issue in the guise of a criminal offence," criminal proceedings may be cancelled in accordance with Section 482 CrPC.
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (the Act)
- Section 3 – states the punishments for the offences of cruelty
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Rules 1995
- Rule 7 – states about investigating officer. According to Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 7, the Investigating Officer must be chosen by the State Government following consideration of his background, notion of justice, and capacity to understand the consequences of the Act and conduct an appropriate investigation. The inquiry must be carried out by a police officer with at least the rank of deputy superintendent of police, according to the sub-rule.
- A cricket match was being done between the petitioner and respondent’s son along with other people. The complaint’s son lost the game due to which some issue arose between the teams. On 14th June 2020 a complaint was filed alleging assault and kidnapping of the son and criminal case no. 115 of 2020 was registered.
- After the police investigation it was found that false language against the complainant’s son was used, upon which charge-sheet was produced.
- On 1st March 2021 Session judge took cognizance of the crime and listed under special case No.55 of 2021 for the offences which are punishable under Sections 143, 147, 323, 324, 365, 504, 506 r/w 149 of IPC and Section 3(1)(r) & (s) of the Act
- The mentioned allegations were against the respondent and his son but FIR only included the offences which were stated and punishable under IPC.
- The present petition has been filed under the section 482 of Cr.P.C. demanding quash of the allegation filed under section 143, 147, 323, 324, 365, 504, 506 read along with section 149 OF IPC 1860 and section 3 of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
- Whether the accusations would be used as elements of the Act's offences?
- Whether intention is mandatory for making the subject material of offence under section 3 of the Act?
- Challenging the applicability of the investigating authority under rule 7 of the act over the investigation conducted.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE PETITIONER
- It has been argued that no insults were hurled as is claimed, and the entire situation stemmed from a disastrous cricket match the day before. The initial complaint is filed for offences that are punished by the IPC.
- Several players gave misleading statements where the abuse took place during the match, which never happened.
- It is contended that abuse that is merely hurled without any aim to offend or make caste remarks will not be considered a crime under the Act.
- The question has been raised on the investigation process with regards to Rule 7 of the act. Here, Police Sub-Inspector conducts inquiry; Police Sub-Inspector files charge sheet. Rule 7 of the Rules has thus been infringed.
- The petitioner questioned the charge sheet's resultant order of taking cognizance for the aforementioned offences as when the intention of any kind of humiliation does not exist then application under section 3 of the Act is invalid.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT
- It has been argued that one cannot consider the rivalry that developed between the petitioner and his friends and the complainant's son as justification for quashing the prosecution under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.
- It has been stated that investigating officer can include other offence which deems fit at the time of investigation. Therefore there is no fault from the side of investigating authority
- It was prayed that court should allow the trials without quashing the allegations under IPC.
ANALYSIS BY THE COURT:
- The criminal petition is partially allowed
- It has been ruled that Charge sheet No.19 of 2020 from Suryanagar Police Station in Anekal Taluk, dated December 23, 2020, is quashed since it relates to offences against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989).
- The learned Sessions Judge's decision granting cognizance for offences covered by the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989) is also revoked.
- All of the alleged crimes under the IPC are upheld, and the competent court may now proceed with additional actions relating to those crimes.
In the present case as a result of the cricket match, there were several altercations between the complainant and the accused, and the accused mistreated the complainant by using his caste as a scapegoat. There is no other evidence, except from this allegation, that the petitioner purposefully used the complainant's caste when hurling insults or making derogatory statements.
Other than stating that the name of the complainant's son's caste was also mentioned when insults were thrown, neither the charge sheet nor the statements provide any other details. Because of this, neither the statements nor the charge sheet's summary mention any desire to denigrate or humiliate somebody by using their caste.
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